Nutrition value of squirrels and other elementary foods

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Nutrition value of squirrels and other elementary foods

Recently, I played a guy with (negative) metabolism and was starving.
So I thought, some squirrels coocked over campfire should do the trick.
I ate 12 squirrels at once, but this was not sufficient to get me out of starving status.
Is this intended ?

Over all, I did not find any item to be of great nutrition value.
Even soup nor blinkies do significantly add to the hunger bar.
And compared to it's nutrition value, spawning of food is relatively sparse.
One of my other characters died of starvation because he was not able to find any (or at least enough) food for days .. and he had trapping as well as botany skills. I guess, this was bad luck, because all ruins did not yield food, forrests were seldomly scavengable and scavenging plains resulted in numerous white berries and death caps. Well, it was thrilling and exciting (even more than dogmen) .. but in the end also frustrating. Well, I would have liked to eat my boots instead of starving.

Will there be high calorie foods in the game, too ? Like chocolat bars, bacon strips, fastfood restaurants (would be cool for mechanics trait to get the deep fat fryer running and put in all those yummy frozen french fries, or for electritian trait to repair the microwave oven to get the frozen burgers ready), birthday cake, and lots of home made recipies and ingredients ?

I'd love to prepare some mushroom-squirrel-stew and have some root jelly with wild bee's honey frosting and red berry sauce as dessert.

GAME OVER
Player was gored and eaten by a sabretooth tiger.
Survival Time: 48 days, 16.51 hours.

I have had the same experience.

Cooked squirrel meat is about the size of the meat patty on a hamburger. I don't know about you, but it takes one burger for me to be full. There is no way in hell I could eat 12 hamburgers, but if I could I would be "recovered" from starvation by the third or forth one. I like that the game is about scavenging for food and there is a risk of starvation if you don't play the game aggressively, but I do think that the mechanics of how food "recovers" hunger levels needs to be tuned a bit. Quality food should recover more hunger and starvation (death) should take longer to occur. In real life, as long as you have plenty of water, it should take a week or so to die of starvation. I know it's a game, not reality, but I'm suggesting it could be tweaked.

Actually, food system in NeoScavenger works a bit different. It's not about how hungry the character is, but about the nutrition value of what he eats. So you don't die of real starvation (cause lying on the bed and drinking water human can live up to two weeks without food) but of general malnutrition. And look at this:

Physically active, grown up human male needs about 3000 calories per day (to stay fit, half of that not to fall into malnutrition). I'm not 100% sure about the squirrel but my best guess that it's something like chicken meat. 100 grams of roasted chicken breast is 170 calories. That means to get all energy needed you will need to eat 1,75 kg of pure chicken meat per day (about 15 cutlets).

Heinz ketchup packet contains 20 calories so to live on this alone, you'll need 150 packets per day.

Saltine Crackers have 70 calories per pack so you need only 42 to fill up your daily calories meter :D.


<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

I have to agree with all of you. On one hand, Kaavan is completely right in regards to nutritional value (although I have to point out that 3000 kcal is usually suggested for really active men - as in sportsmen. Regular grown man living regular, active live should be fine going on around 2500). Lot of stuff in Neo Scavenger isn't nutritious, but I am quite sure that 12 adult squirrels (at least of most types found in US) would offer enough meat to not only get out of starvation but to be more or less set for a whole day and I have to agree that over longer period of time it does seem that my character has to eat quite a lot (while possessing average metabolism).

I believe I've made a note on my own in regards to that in the past here, so I am glad I'm not the only one thinking that eating could use a lil bit of balancing.

Edit: Cleaned the text.

This issue might be handled by adding one or two higher-nutrition food (rarer) items (for example: chocolate bar, canned beans and beef or maybe this squirrel stew Ineluki mentioned) but to balance that, put a limit how much character can eat at one time to stop characters from eating tons of food in one go.

What do you think guys?


<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

As you say, new top tier craft-able food items would help. But putting a limit on how much food you can eat makes me nervous. There would be a risk that you could never get your nutrient level up to maximum, because you'd be limited in how much you could consume. I think it's challenging enough that you have to find / craft food constantly. And, personally, I also think the hunger system needs to be tweaked to be slightly more forgiving.

"There would be a risk that you could never get your nutrient level up to maximum, because you'd be limited in how much you could consume"

- the idea is to force player to plan his diet. Right now you can, theoretically: be starving, find 30kg of junk food and shove it right in till your food meter is full and go back to running form bandits (also you can do it right now with liquids as well, drinking 5 liters of water at a time just because you found a river). With limits player would have to eat junk to stay on OK level, leaving good, nutrient stuff for emergency adding new layer to inventory management.

I really don't know if it's a good idea, just something that I think might be considered :D


<--Mighty (mini)Mod of Doom-->
DeviantArt Gallery of MoD Sprites

Your idea makes sense but personally, I think that managing even the diet of the character is somewhat going too far. I want my simulatiotion to end at 'Alright, your character sliced dried a decent chunk of quality meat for tasty jerky - it may be not overly nutritious but together with a few handfuls of berries and shrooms it'll keep him going for a few days without starving' and not worry it'll turn into some 'NEO Dietitian' game.

Having some more high caloric food is a good idea too (game needs more items in general, although they shouldn't be priority yet) but I still would like the current edibles to be adjusted a bit as well, again simplifying the whole thing - 'that foodstuff should be filling and have some useful nutrients - nice boost to the hunger meter'

I just want to comment that home-brewed beer is high in calories AND is good for you in moderation.

Hard liquor is basically poison, so I never drink it. But beer, yeah, I'd drink beer if I were starving.

Hey Guys,

Some good points in here. I ended up looking up the values for starvation vs. squirrel meat, because it seems a bit fishy to me, too.

First of all, I should point out that the game is a bit less sophisticated than you guys give it credit for :)

Basically, the hunger bar isn't about how hungry you feel, or nutrition, it's the number of hours you can still go without food before starving to death. In a way, I guess this is nutrition, but it's basically a growing hole you need to keep filled with food to stay alive.

So when you're "starving," you're below half of the meter's full mark (<64 hours remaining, with 168 hours being "well fed." I.e. 1 week to starve if well-hydrated.) A squirrel corpse offers about 4 hours of food. In essence, I came up with a value kind of like orbitneo describes in his hamburger patty analogy: I figured it'd be about one serving of meat, or a small meal, so it would satisfy a person almost until the next meal (assuming 3 meals per day, awake for 16 hours, so 5-6 hours between meals). In fact, that's how I gauged a lot of things.

E.g. Would a Twinkie tide me over for a meal? Probably not. Maybe two would. So they each provide 3 hours of food. A can of soup? That'd get me most of the way from lunch to dinner, so 4 hours. Etc.

Not scientific, admittedly, but a reasonable baseline from which to tweak.

However, it can make the hunger bar a bit unintuitive. One could be at 15 hours left on the hunger bar (10% full, and considered "starving"), eat 12 squirrels, and still be "starving." (15 + 4*12 = 63, which is still <64 hours left).

Is this realistic? Sort of. Malnutrition is a bigger problem than filling one's stomach. Malnutrition is a situation where the body has been without enough food for so long that the body is weakened, losing fat stores, muscle mass, and other physiological issues. It takes more than a full meal to restore that deficiency. It requires a full stomach for long enough that the body can restore all functions and mass.

So that part is already happening in NEO Scavenger: one would need to eat roughly 42 squirrels-worth of food to recover from near-death malnutrition.

However, the stomach can only work so fast, and fit so much, as you point out. Nobody could eat 40 squirrels in one sitting. In fact, a person would probably have trouble with more than 4. In reality, malnutrition is a long, arduous process of eating gradually more and more, until that caloric intake is fulfilled. And even then, the time it takes to get there requires additional caloric intake, since digestion, breathing, pumping blood, and other vital functions require energy.

In NEO Scavenger, one just pops food until the bar is full again, which is inaccurate. Kaaven's suggestion of limiting food intake per time span is an interesting one, and realistic. At some point, one needs to stop, digest, and make room for more. Eating too much will induce vomiting, or worse. And in malnourished patients, their ability to digest food may be compromised, meaning they can't eat as much as a normal person while recovering.

It might be worth adding such a limitation some day. For now, though, I think you guys are right that we just need to make sure there is enough food to stay alive. It doesn't have to be easy to get, but it has to be possible to survive.

One thing I recently added is a diner in the DMC which sells a "full meal." It's a hearty, greasy, stomach-rounding meal that restores the full hunger and thirst bar. Also, the medical clinic offers a rehydration and micronutrition therapy. The therapy includes oral/intravenous nutrient solution to restore hunger/thirst bars safely.

It bugged me that the diner food and therapy offered the same benefit, but the therapy was 10x the cost. However, after this discussion, I'm thinking maybe it's reasonable to make the diner food commensurate with the cost. E.g. 10x diner food will fill an empty hunger/thirst bar, but only 1x therapy is required. It's still slightly realistic (because there is no time passage in either service yet), but at least the pricing and benefits are more balanced.

Getting back to the point, this provides one solution to the dwindling hunger bar: make it to the city to stock up. The other solution will be adjusting loot tables to balance food availability, and maybe adding some more food options (e.g. something more filling than 4 hours, like the squirrel stew everyone suggests :)

Thanks for the feedback, guys! Very helpful!

Dan Fedor - Founder, Blue Bottle Games

One thing I recently added is a diner in the DMC which sells a "full meal." It's a hearty, greasy, stomach-rounding meal that restores the full hunger and thirst bar. Also, the medical clinic offers a rehydration and micronutrition therapy. The therapy includes oral/intravenous nutrient solution to restore hunger/thirst bars safely.

It bugged me that the diner food and therapy offered the same benefit, but the therapy was 10x the cost. However, after this discussion, I'm thinking maybe it's reasonable to make the diner food commensurate with the cost. E.g. 10x diner food will fill an empty hunger/thirst bar, but only 1x therapy is required. It's still slightly realistic (because there is no time passage in either service yet), but at least the pricing and benefits are more balanced.

Awesome! I really like the idea of having to buy multiple dinners for yourself, like a hungry man would. And the idea of a clinic where starving people could go to fill all bars (but at a greater cost) makes perfect sense. Inside the city you can get what you need and restock. Plus, the cybernetics! I can't wait for all the new toys we will be getting in this update.

Thank you!

I think you should be very subtle with adding more food to the world, as it is now, I think it's in a pretty good condition. The restaurant in the city will certainly ease things.

Right now, hunger will keep you going forward, it's kind of a reminder that tells you "Hey! Stop camping here or else you'll die!" and it makes the game more intense since you can't hoard a large stockpile of food as easily, and you'll actually have to go out looking for food.

I don't recall dying of hunger that many times in matter of fact.. (I've died to heat exhaustion too many times though, and I'd like to ask would pouring a few bottles of water on your head help you if you were suffering of heat exhaustion? Since I've tried to do that, to no avail. I don't know if that even would help, but just throwing it out there.)

A lot of good points in this thread, and I'm interested to see where you take the game. :)

"It's only fun, if they run."

i havent died to starvation or thirst ever maybe a few times in other games but very few times and i have not died to heat exhaustion, but personaly i think i always die of greed and being greedy in NS i fatal.

PS: i dont have brains, cuz i survived two shots to the head, in a row.

Greedy Bastard

I've got an idea: Keep the bar for how hungry you feel, but if you decide to add in nutrition, another bar in the player status that shows you how well you've been eating (Perhaps a more detailed look into if you have the medic skill?).

~The Pirate

i have a humble idea to assist with the hunger bar, you have a bar for your stomach to be filled, or saturation or sorts if you will, it would simply represent a maximum amount of food you could stuff down your gullet at a given time, and it would go down over time, kinda like how you eat a meal, and a few hours you could probably eat some more if you wanted to, maybe it's thinking too far ahead, but thought I'd give my two cents worth on this discussion